When, in the early years of the twentieth century, the Belgian businessman Edouard Empain began to turn his dream of building an entirely new satellite city in the desert outside Cairo into a reality, he followed the then novel urban-planning concept of the "garden city." But, in naming his creation, he turned back to one of the most ancient sites in Egypt, the solar temple of Heliopolis, the biblical On, and, in its architecture, he sought inspiration in the heritage of Cairo's Islamic tradition. When the city, known as "New Egypt" in Arabic, was completed, a half-hour tram ride through the desert was needed to reach it. Today, Helipolis has been enveloped within the huge and ever-growing metropolis of Cairo. However, despite rapid development, overpopulation, and increasing traffic, Heliopolis has retained much of its original character and charm, and the captivating atmosphere of Egypt's Belle Epoque is still tangible. Its houses, mosques, and churches, designed to imitate various styles of the past, have become historic buildings in their own right.
This fully illustrated book introduces the reader to the history and development of Heliopolis through its architecture and its inhabitants, past and present.
Buy Heliopolis book by Agnieszka Dobrowolska from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(279mm x 201mm x 16mm)
The American University in Cairo Press
Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Agnieszka Dobrowolska
Agnieszka Dobrowolska is a long-term resident of Heliopolis and the author of Muhammad'Ali Pasha and His Sabil (with Khaled Fahmy, AUC Press, 2004) and The Building Crafts of Cairo (AUC Press, 2005). Jaroslaw Dobrowolski is an architect and the author of The Living Stones of Cairo (AUC Press, 2001).